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Mackenzie Headley, the 1st Jamaican woman to make Commonwealth Games 50m freestyle semis
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Mackenzie Headley became the first Jamaican woman to make the semifinals in the women’s 50m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games when she clocked 25.95 seconds in the preliminary round on Saturday in Birmingham, England.
The 25.95-clocking placed Headley sixth of eight in heat eight and 15th overall but was good enough to advance from the preliminary round.
Headley’s 25.95 seconds was also the best time by a Jamaican woman in the event at the Commonwealth Games, surpassing Olympian Dawn Kane who clocked 27.09 for 22nd at the 2002 Manchester Games, also in England.
In the semifinals, Headley recorded her fifth sub-26 clocking in less than a month. She touched the wall in 25.97 seconds for eighth and last place in the second of two heats and 16th overall.
Australians Shayne Jack (24.33), Meg Harris (24.41), and Emma McKeon (24.51) achieved the fastest qualifying times ahead of the final.
The Australians then swept the medals in Sunday’s final. McKeon became the Commonwealth Games’ most successful athlete during a history-making night in the pool.
The 28-year-old McKeon won in 23.99 to claim her 11th career gold medal, spread across editions in Glasgow, the Gold Coast, and Birmingham, to set a new Commonwealth Games mark for most titles.
Harris (24.32) and Jack (24.36) claimed silver and bronze, respectively.
Headley, at 15, is now close to breaking the 25.47 50m freestyle senior national record by Olympian Alia Atkinson. Her personal best is 25.62 seconds.
In the video above, McKenzie told SportsMax TV that Atkinson’s national record is not expected to last much longer.
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